Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a stretching, meditation, and muscle relaxation technique wrapped up into one simple practice. Though it can benefit many systems, this practice, first introduced by American physician Edmund Jacobson in the 1930s, is primarily used as an anxiety-reduction technique. It is a way to relieve tension in your body, help reduce stress and anxiety, and soothe aching muscles, without any medication or equipment. PMR utilizes mindful tensing of the muscles and breathing patterns to loosen tight muscles and make you realize areas of stress and pain in each of your muscle groups.
Acupressure seems to be the most recent craze in the world of acupuncture, reflexology, meditation, and other alternative wellness remedies. However, this practice has actually been around for thousands of years in China and India, and only the recent popularity of the uber-convenient acupressure mat has caused it to gain traction in more western settings. So what exactly is an acupressure mat and how can you use it safely and effectively right from home?